Wednesday, January 12, 2011

zen koan solved; sound of one hand clapping amazing, indescribable

I can't remember what I was going to write about. It was probably awesome, though.

I have not been able to listen to the news on the radio for some time now. All the stories are just jumbles of words that shoot in rapid-fire succession right past me. Or I'll catch every tenth word, plink, plink. My brain is as permeable as a tin roof.

News reaches me, if it does, through the fog, details fuzzed and dull. Meanwhile, I have plenty of attention for I can't explain it. That shit is funny, man.

Simple things elude me. Jason asks me a question, and it hangs in the air while I wait for it to land on something solid in me, to become something solid itself that has a solid answer. But instead I am taffy -- pliable and impressionable, an unwitting philosopher gazing at the very question-ness of the question -- and the ensuing silence is perplexing rather than enchantingly mysterious, I'm sure.

I'm sorry you can't reach me. I have been unreachable.

I have been sleeping in little wisps for the past five months, and that is as much as I can handle.

My pre-baby self would have thought that sleep deprivation would make a person sleepy. Just, sleepy. Sleepy.
That's like calling the Mona Lisa cute.

Okay, it's true that at first sleep deprivation makes you sleepy. Then you get clumsy, then forgetful. Then you get spacey. Then you can't think of everyday words that you used to use, well, every day. Then you get punchy and cross and short-tempered.

Beyond that, even: I have felt trapped. I have wanted words like slouched, smudged, shredded, because SLEEPY cannot begin to address how coiled and raw and sour I am.

I haven't wanted to write about it. I wrote about it enough with Auden -- I fought good and hard against it then, wrung my hands over various sleep training methods and in the end he just figured it out on his own. I didn't want to fight this time. Mainly, I didn't want to let her cry because we're sharing a room, and the thought of EVEN LESS sleep than I have currently been getting, even if only for a few nights, triggered a severe bout of adrenal-coating denial. So I've been getting up with her three and four times a night and encouraging all kinds of bad habits.

I know! If I were reading, I'd say the same thing: You is crazy, woman! Put that baby in the basement where you can't hear her and take some Tylenol PM. Sheee-it.

I justified putting off that kind of dramatic action by blaming her wakings on the move, and colds, and teeth, and more colds, but to be totally honest, I was just hoping there was a gentler way.

I am telling you now that there was not. My Jeckyl-and-Hyde mood swings are exhausting, Auden is learning too many swear words, and I am desperate for the kind of normal brain functioning that allows me to be creative and to carry on conversations with my husband. And my cuticles are a disaster. So, something had to give.

We moved her to the basement a few nights ago, and the first night I slept for 7 HOURS IN A ROW.

This morning I even woke up before she did.

I have no way of knowing if she wakes up at night, or how many times, or for how long. I felt guilty about this at first, but that guilt was an illusion.

But the sleep, oh ho ho! The sleep is real.



Mir said...

hurray for sleep! hoping for the rest to follow :)

Emily of Deutschland said...

Sometimes, one thing has got to give in order for everything else to become much, much better. After Joshua finally, finally, finally learned to sleep, I miraculously became a happier, more balanced, yeah, just all-around BETTER mother. I was generous for all but eight hours per night, and suddenly, I was a person again. What a surprise.

There is nothing more to explain. E

Anonymous said...

I have an extra baby monitor? Want it? Then you can hear The Underground. Unless you don't want to. Drop me an email. You can gladly borrow it. I am a fan of sleep. And a fan of friends sleeping.
Yours in slumber